How to Have Great Teeth

Three Methods:Practicing Good Oral HygieneVisiting Your DentistMaking Lifestyle Changes

Great teeth can give you a winning smile and that extra boost of confidence. Taking care of your teeth is also really important for your overall health. By adding some simple steps to your daily routine, you can have a great smile and a healthy mouth. It's not difficult to achieve a good set of teeth if you look after them properly. Make sure to ask your dentist for guidelines that are specific to your teeth and your lifestyle.

Method 1
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

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    Brush your teeth. Brushing is one of the best ways to make your teeth look--and feel--great. However, the act of brushing isn't enough. You need to make sure that you are doing it correctly, and frequently. Many people think that more is better, but you should actually only brush twice a day. Increasing the frequency can wear away the protective enamel on your teeth and lead to sensitivity and pain.[1]
    • Spend at least two minutes brushing (each time). Try dividing your mouth into four sections (two up top, two on bottom) and spend 30 seconds on each section.
    • Don't brush too hard. Too much pressure can cause damage to your enamel, which is the protective covering on your teeth. Instead, brush in firm, but gentle, motions.
    • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in short strokes, making an up and down motion on each tooth.
    • You should also brush the gum towards your chewing surface to stimulate your blood flow and maintain your antibacterial protection.
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    Floss. Flossing is critical for maintaining good oral health, yet it is a step that many people skip. Make sure to floss daily. You will be able to see improvement in your smile--your teeth will have less buildup, and your mouth will also feel clean. Flossing can also help prevent cavities and gum disease.[2]
    • Floss at least once daily to remove plaque from between your teeth. Dentists are split on whether it is best to floss before or after brushing. But they all agree that adding flossing to your daily routine is essential for having great teeth.
    • Use about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around both hands to give yourself a steady grip. Then move the middle part of the strand up and down between two teeth. Make a "C" shape with the floss. This will help you get the curved parts of your teeth. Repeat throughout your entire mouth.
    • Don't floss too vigorously. Being aggressive near your gums can be painful and cause damage.
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    Use the right products. There are a wide variety of toothbrushes, pastes, flosses, and rinses available in drugstores and supermarkets. It's good to have a basic idea of what you need when you are choosing your dental care products. For example, most adults should use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. It has been shown to prevent cavities.[3]
    • Choose a toothpaste that you like. If you prefer a gel, that's fine. If you like the wintergreen flavor, that's fine, too. Dentists report that most brands function in essentially the same way. Picking one that you like best will encourage you to use it more often. The same advice goes for floss and mouthwash.
    • Consider using an electric (or battery-powered) toothbrush. The advantage to these tools is that you basically just need to guide the brush. This will provide a more consistent stroke.
    • Be aware that some mouthwashes simply freshen the breath. To make sure the one you are buying will be effective, look for one that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval.[4] Chlorhexidine is the best anti-bacterial substance that works to fight aggressive bacterial species.
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    Get in a routine. Once you know the basics of proper oral hygiene, it is a good idea to make it a consistent part of your daily routine. Try getting in the habit of brushing your teeth at the same time each day. This will make it feel more natural, and you will be less likely to forget.[5]
    • Try buying two tubes of toothpaste at a time (one whitening, one flouride) and always having a back-up toothpaste. This way, you'll always be prepared to care for your teeth, even if the unexpected happens.

Method 2
Visiting Your Dentist

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    Choose the right dentist. A lot of people dread going to the dentist. Let's face it, it is really no one's favorite activity. However, if you find a dentist that you feel comfortable with, the experience can definitely be a lot better. Make sure that you feel at ease in her office, and that you are treated respectfully. Of course, the most important part is choosing a dentist who is credentialed and competent.[6]
    • Get some reviews on local dentists. You can ask friends, family, and coworkers if they have an office they recommend. You can also read reviews by current and former patients online.
    • Ask for a consultation before you have any procedures. This will let you get to know the dentist and make sure that you feel comfortable in the environment. At this time, you can also make sure the office accepts your dental insurance.
    • If you don't have have dental insurance, you'll want to ask about pricing. You should also feel free to ask if the dentist offers payment plans or a sliding scale.
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    Visit regularly. Most experts recommend going to the dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning, which includes polishing, air abrasion, and a professional brushing that relieves gum inflammation. At these visits, you will receive a thorough cleaning and the dentist will check for cavities, signs of gum disease, and other issues. Regular check-ups are important because the doctor can spot potential problems and recommend a treatment plan. Your teeth will also look great after a professional cleaning![7]
    • Schedule your appointments in advance. Dental offices tend to fill up quickly. By booking in advance, you can secure a time and day that is convenient for you.
    • Choose a dentist that is convenient. If your dentist is near your home or office and easy to get to, you will be much more likely to go.
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    Ask questions. Your dentist and her staff are your best resources for all of your questions about your oral health. During your appointment make sure to discuss any issues that you have. You can also ask for tips about the best way to brush, and recommendations on products that will work best for your particular teeth.[8]
    • Your dentist can also help you understand the importance that your mouth has on your overall physical health. Ask your dentist about the possible links between oral health and conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[9]
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    Consider a specialist. Your primary dentist can also refer you to a specialist if you have any issues beyond general oral care. Maybe your teeth are crooked or the gap between your front teeth has always bothered you. Your dentist can recommend an orthodontist to help you make corrections.
    • If you have gum disease or erosion, your dentist might recommend you see a periodontist. These doctors specialize in gum care. Remember, your gums are important to keeping your teeth healthy.[10]
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    Talk about whitening your teeth. One of the best ways to feel confident about your teeth is to make them whiter. Unfortunately, brushing alone can't whiten your smile. Ask your dentist to tell you about your options. You could consider getting an in-office whitening treatment or doing it yourself at home.[11]
    • If you opt for professional whitening, make sure to discuss costs. Insurance typically does not cover whitening as it is considered cosmetic.
    • If you decide to try whitening at home ask your dentist to recommend products that she feels are safe and effective.
    • If you feel wary about using chemical substances, you can also try natural home whitening.

Method 3
Making Lifestyle Changes

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    Pay attention to your diet. It makes sense that what you put in your mouth can have a big impact on the health and appearance of your teeth. Dentists warn that sugar is the substance that does the most damage to teeth. Make sure to read nutrition labels and avoid foods that have a lot of added sugar.[12]
    • Avoid sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks. All of these have significant amounts of sugar that can be harmful to your teeth.
    • There are certain foods and beverages that are good for your teeth. For example, drinking tea (black or green) can slow the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Cheese can lower the amount of acid produced in your mouth.
    • Eat more calcium. This nutrient supports bone health, which includes your jaw. This can help your overall oral health. Try cottage cheese or low fat milk.
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    Don't smoke. Smoking is harmful to your overall health and this includes your teeth and mouth. Smoking can cause tooth discoloration, gum disease, cavities, and mouth cancers. One of the most important things you can do to help your teeth look great is to avoid smoking.[13]
    • If you don't smoke, don't start.
    • If you smoke, try to quit. It is a very difficult process, but well worth the effort. Ask your doctor to recommend a smoking cessation product, such as the patch or a gum.
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    Protect your teeth. In order to have great teeth you need to keep them. This means that you need to try your hardest to keep your teeth safe. If you play any sports, consider wearing a mouth guard. This is especially important if you play contact sports, such as football or roller derby.[14]
    • Mouth guards are also very useful if you grind your teeth. Wearing a guard can help you keep from grinding down the enamel on your teeth while you sleep. Ask your dentist to recommend a product; they might even be able to take impressions of your mouth to make you a customized mouth guard.


  • If you have kids, encourage them to take care of their teeth! Nothing is better than starting out young by understanding the benefits.
  • If you do have sensitive teeth then use a toothpaste formulated to help build up the enamel on your teeth such as Sensodyne or Pronamel and totally eliminate sideways brushing!! You can also get whitening versions of these types of toothpastes.


  • Talk to your dentist before making any significant changes to your oral care.

Article Info

Categories: Teeth and Mouth